Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Patriot's Legend Told

A week after a Filipino patriot, Francis M, died – Many, particularly the younger teens, were amazed and puzzled at how the people who knew Mr. Francis Magalona told the story of his life. Why is Francis M considered a patriot?

In the late 80s, the hip-hop song was still a taboo in the Philippines. Hip-hop music can only be heard in the Subic Freeport where the then Subic Naval Base was located. As I wrote in my previous entry, Francis M opened the gates for hip-hop music and released the first ever recorded commercial hip-hop album, “Yo!.” Francis M came out in TV wearing very loose pants matched with “chaleco” to make up his hip-hop appearance, but unlike the usual hip-hop attire, his was checkered in Filipiniana prints. Many knew then that Francis M and his music would be different.

Through his music, Francis M highlighted the good traits of Filipino and how he is proud to be one. Through his music, he spoke his mind about social issues and how he thought Filipinos should use their good traits to better the lives of the underprivileged. Through his music, he expressed his love for the country and how he ached so much to see how Filipinos themselves caused the country’s letdown with too much politicking.

He brought his music nationwide. He brought his music personally to the struggling artists of his genre, preaching to them hard work, love for own countrymen, love for family, love for country and love for God. He preached gratefulness for whatever success one has gained and to be proud of others’ success too. He preached that they too preach the same to their reach. This is the reason he was called “The Master Rapper.”

Francis M received many citations for his works, in music, in photography and in paintings. In all his works, he never failed to preach love for country.

This patriot was not perfect, being a student of adventure and fun. He had his letdown too, but the good thing about this patriot, as is expected of a true student, he learned from his mistakes and he did rectify his wrongdoings and tried in his own way to let others see the lesson without having to commit the mistakes he did. He made sure he was in the bottom of things, if only to save his subjects from committing the mistakes he did.

Francis M was a man for the masses. Francis M was a man for the altas. Francis M was a man for all. He blends well and could easily get lost in the crowd. He fitted in right away. Now, that he went ahead to face the Master of All, hopes are that his music of patriotism continue to live in each and every Filipino – singing in unison – proud of being one, regardless of social status.

Monday, March 09, 2009

a tribute to a patriot: Francis M.

Friday (03/06/09), Noontime in Manila, Philippines - a television show broke the news that their longtime co-host of 10 years, popularly known as the Philippines' Master Rapper, Francis Magalona, succumb to complications from leukemia. He was 44. This saddened not just his immediate family, not just the local music industry, but many Filipinos including me who find him as a true patriot. while many praised him for his accomplishments in music, for opening the gates for hip-hop and rap music in the country, I admire him more for his patriotism. He preached it, he showed it, and he lived his love for the country - how he preferred the Filipinos highlighting more of their good traits by reorienting each Filipinos to the values that made the country proud - a formula he sees that will always make every Filipino proud of being one. He is not a fan of politics and he never let himself be used by politicians. The show of sympathy and the amount of condolences that his surviving loved ones are receiving from Filipinos from all walks of life is a testament to how he lived as a great Filipino.

Rest in peace, Mr. Francis Magalona. While some would say you lost your happybattle, I must say you won every inch of it. As long as your music lives, as long as we remember your message, you are a victor in your

Allow me to end this little tribute to the Philippines’ Master Rapper, who’s already wrapped up to face his Master, by posting his song that I really like listening to.

Kaleidoscope World
Francis M.

So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Some are great and some are few
Others lie while some tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while some act dumb
Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while others run
You can’t talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don’t ask me how don’t ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Monday, November 17, 2008

nursing is not for everyone

a student-nurse approached me and asked if i could be interviewed. i asked, "about what?" he said they were tasked to ask a nurse five questions. having gone through that back in college, i said yes. [below is the text of the interview]. after the interview, i was brought in deep thoughts, recalling what brought me into this profession, and then i found myself comparing it to how student-nurses and their families are motivated into taking the nursing path these days.

the process or reasons for deciding which path to pursue in life is influenced by many factors or the lack of it. it can be affected by deep thoughts for self, some for shallow and temporary reasons, by family's stature or economic prowess, or temporally by ambitions.

the scheduled local nursing board examination in the philippines will test a record number of hopefuls at 80,000. being a nurse and seeing the decline in the quality of health care delivery in the country, i can't see myself being happy about it. while another flood of new nurses will be set, less and less of them get hired and less and less opportunity is given to those who have obtained their licenses before this batch of hopefuls.

blame this to the lack of regulation by authorized agencies on the new schools and review centers, and the lack of qualifying tools the schools are implementing on their students.

many hopefuls are themselves motivated by the fact that nurses abroad are paid filthy bucks and they believe nursing as their vehicle to going abroad and obtaining riches. while half of the hopefuls are not the ones motivated by this fact but by or their families are. their family/parents are investing on them because they believe egging their sons or daughters into taking up nursing will bring them riches and give them a better life. couple these domestic motivation by the schools and review centers' own motivation of milking money from these hopefuls, seeing that student-nurses are one of the hottest commodities or produce to milk money from.

the result? a decline in the standards of education, a non-qualified student-nurse, a non-qualified review center, a non-qualified nurse, a non-qualified staff. because there are so many nursing schools now, but less hospital, less exposure for student-nurses are given. there are even schools which just pride themselves of having a state-of-the-art laboratory to augment the lack of exposure the student-nurses should be having through their affiliate-hospitals. students need exposure, they need qualified professors and instructors, but students too need to be qualified if we are to hope for a better health care simply because nurses are the frontliners. we can't rely our health care on non-qualified ones.

i feel for this profession, i have seen how the foundation of this profession is fast declining. i feel for this profession, i have seen how many staff there are who do not even know how to insert catheter. i feel for the profession, i say the governing body of this profession should do something. i feel for this profession, and i say the authorized agencies should regulate the nursing schools and review centers that do not perform well and do not have qualified facilities and faculty. i feel for this profession, and i say families and hopefuls themselves should qualify themselves and understand that like any other profession, nursing is not for everyone. frankly, if we don't do something, we all shall absorb the consequences of this and it will definitely be not something everyone can take. while diseases and illnesses affect everyone and that access to health is for every one [which is not the case here], nurses is and will not be for everyone, so let's not hang it by the ropes.

What is profession for you?
Books will tell you that profession is a discipline that you acquire after completing what is required of it, but I believe whether you’re a doctor, a nurse, a teacher or a pharmacist, it is a vocation - a call to service.

What is your concept of nursing?
Nursing for me is a vocation, a noble opportunity to provide care in a professional manner. Nowadays, you can be a nurse but you may not be able to practice it. There is the opportunity but you may not be able to practice it.

Why did you take up nursing?
Because I look good in white. Honestly, I did not plan for this to happen. During our time, very few people take up the course. Everyone was in the band wagon of taking PT. Lining up to enroll in PT will take you the whole day, but not with nursing. You can finish your enrollment in an hour or two. I tried to enroll in PT but the enrollment closed out on me so I was advised to enroll in nursing by the academic affairs and to just transfer to PT after the second semester. That was the reason I got into nursing, at first. But, I fell in love with the course or profession if you’d call it. So, that's it.

What are the good qualities of a nurse?
I think a good nurse should first and foremost be nonjudgmental, without bias. Because if you’re not, you will procrastinate and in doing so, it will hinder you from practicing your profession efficiently and more effectively. Next, you should be a good listener. The practice of nursing is taxing, but it should not devoid you of the importance of listening to your client’s needs. There are identified and unidentified needs, and listening to your clients will help you cover them all.

I also believe that a good nurse should always be a student of the profession. Having said that, a good nurse should always try to learn more to afford your self and your clients the best possible nursing care you can provide, at least from your end.

Being a nurse requires that you are strong and patient enough to deal with anything and everything you’ll be faced with in this practice. If you have those qualities, I believe you are good to go into becoming a better nurse than you are today, even if you’re just a student-nurse, at least for now.

What is the best part about being a nurse?
More than the opportunity to get compensated for the profession, I think the best part is still the satisfaction and the fulfillment it gives you when your client appreciates you for the comfort and care you provide them; when you see them happy and contented with what you did, when you are able to provide comfort and then they thank you for it, for me, that’s the best part of it. It is an indicator that you are doing good and that you have answered a call, your profession.
Interviewed by Karl Laurence C. ValeƱa

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

pseudo pedestal

I have been out long… and in long battle too… against me.

Let me just tell you about a little of what I seem to realize and ?failed to realize about me.

Though already married and yet without a child, I wanted to always be the one providing for my parents and extend this to my siblings and their family. I usually am the outspoken in our family. When asked, I try not to sugar-coat my disappointment; I freely tell them what I feel about things. Because for me, family is family and nothing should be kept secret. I give communication a high regard. I have always thought that I must forgo what my loved ones would feel when the things I am going to say do not agree with them, because I believe it will ultimately yield good things for them.

But, this is not always the case. I realized that I have issues. Issues that make me unpleasant to them. Extending help is a great endeavor. Communication is really of prime importance. But, using communication as a way of forcing your loved ones to duplicating what you do is wrong. I wanted them to be like me! This is wrong… so wrong. I am already abusing communication and I am now using it as a tool to disrespect them. Wanting others to be like your self would be robbing them off of their uniqueness and disrespecting them as a person, and also your uniqueness and respect for self.

I thought what I was doing is good. I thought I am doing the right thing. I am becoming what I do not intend myself to be. Extending help does not give me any right to be disrespectful of them. I thought providing gives me power. I realized I was just sugar-coating the bad with it. Now, I know I am wrong and I must go down from my pseudo-pedestal before i lose the very people i treasure and strive to keep. I rule no one.

I am a dishonor to the noble act of helping.

I am sorry.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Stop complaining and sip your fave coffee

It’s been four months. Yeah, that’s a long hiatus from blogging. Thing is, nothing actually changed in my schedule – I am still swamped and more swamped. I would have written a lot from four months ago to now, but just could not finish them; from coffee stuff to general life experiences as it is, but again, I could not finish them.

I am tired of running this routine daily of waking up, coffee, prepping myself, eating and doing a little of walking and then going back to work and then sleeping, but I cannot complain, not now and not ever. I am grateful still that while this has been becoming a routine with exhausted personal growth from this discipline, I would still say I have one of the better situations there is in our country. I have a job, can eat more than usual and still have a buying power. God is really good, all the time.

Sometimes, when I find myself on the brink of complaining, I would look at the situation of those with lesser power than I have and then I’d find the solace that I am still better and should not complain. I am thinking that when I start complaining and look at those who’s been, what I would call, more successful, the more I would be looking down myself and complain until it would not anymore be healthy and I will just end up pitying myself.

This is just me at this very instant, and I guess I can call myself lucky still. I have this site, I have friends, I have jobs, and I have my life to still work with. Life remains a work in progress so long as you value it and strive to make it better; for when you declare you’re done with it, then you’re killing it and yourself.

Sip your favorite coffee and enjoy progressing your life further.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Been through yet another bout of busy schedule. Long days, short sleep – and how I just wish I could be done with it quickly. But no! Reality rubbed in my face, I am stuck with this. Gone are the days when I really command my schedule and find time to play some ball. I cannot even attend to my blogging!!!

I envy those who are really good in managing their time. I must admit it, I am not good at it. Because whatever spare time I have, I wanted it devoted to me sleeping (me looking at bed), there in the bed.

I guess I need to fix myself. I can't find the motivation to do more things with what little spare time I got, I wish I could. Am I sloth creature? Man, it is a sin!

The only thing not sacrificed amidst this time management debacle is my coffee break. Still, I wish I could push myself to do more…

Thursday, September 27, 2007

security blanket, what works for you?

I've been very busy lately and it hacked me off my time for the blog. And, during the stretch of the week that passed, coffee's been my bud. Yummy.

At duress, admit it or not, we look for help or boost, either from someone we know or from rituals we know to keep us moving – believers pray for guidance and help, married people go to their spouses for some advices and comfort, others perform their ritual or mantra, while some others do a combination of two or all.

Imagine yourself not being able to do your ritual or not having that someone to keep you going. Not that you've been too dependent or won't be able to accomplish the task without your ritual or significant someone, but that you won't be the same. In my own practice, I've seen surgeons do their rituals. Shhh… some lay themselves on the OR table in their theatre minutes or an hour before the theatre is prepped, and the more common is that they eat a lot, while some just listen to their music.

People need to be in tip-top shape when doing their thing, lest they'd perform differently or even less. We probably saw many movie highlights where we see the performance dynamics of the lead actor in a movie who is expecting someone from the audience and finding out that their significant someone not being there, until finally seeing that special someone in the audience or the bleachers and, whoala! - from making a so-so performance to being in the zone. It gives us the needed push to beat ourselves and show our significant someone we're really good at what we do, in basketball, in singing, dancing or anything we do.

Call it just a mind set, but really sometimes we just fold and find ourselves not in our zone without our rituals and significant someone. Life in and itself is a wonder and it makes me think that perhaps we never really shed off the baby in us. I did not mean it to be something negative – just a pure observation and I may be wrong. We need a sort of security blanket. Babies and the young ones do and I guess that can be said also of us who need something and someone before performing our tasks.

As for me, I do a combination of two. I could not start the day without the kick of caffeine, and more of it when busy doing things. I start and end the day actually with it. Call me an addict, whatsoever, but it works for me. More importantly, I pray. It makes me stay collected. I am a believer and I'd say there is an All-Great Power over all things and it's to HIM I come and would come first for wisdom and help.

So, what works for you?